Silverton, CO Report: This Place Needs to Make Your Bucket List

Chad Walker | | Post Tag for Trip ReportTrip Report

Skier: Chad Walker, Video: Snowbrains

We visited Silverton Mountain Resort on Sunday, February 23, 2020, for a day of guided skiing and some epic heli-runs!  This was my second trip to “the mecca,” but only the first time I skied some airdropped runs with them.

After a scenic drive up Route 50 to 550 from Gunnison to Silverton the previous afternoon, we got through the pass and into town just in time for 8 inches of the fresh goods to “re-boot” the snow surface for our upcoming day on the mountain.

We stayed at the Triangle Motel the night before our day on the mountain.  Highly recommended!  The rooms were clean and complete with a full kitchenette, master bedroom, nice bath, and a futon for extra sleeping quarters.  It was just walking distance to anything in town, including several quaint rustic cowboy bars and breweries, which all served very adequate cuisine.

Our guide Jamie briefed us on the day’s events and gave a little refresher on avalanche safety procedures. Photo: Snowbrains

After arriving at the base of the mountain around 8:00 a.m. our guide Jamie took a minute to review avalanche safety, beacon use, and safety procedures with our group for the day.  

Stoke levels were soaring!

We approached the loading zone for Silverton’s only lift, boarded 2 at a time on the double chair, and made our way to the offloading zone.

A short hike of about 500-600 vertical put us in place to load the chopper and be on our way to the heli-skiing zone over on the adjacent ridge to the rest of the ski resort.

Loading the chopper on Jamie’s command.    Photo: Snowbrains

The new-fallen snow seemed good.  Really good!

Our guide, Jamie was really thorough in explaining what to expect and how to read the really steep, and blind, terrain.  He always made sure all members of the group knew what to expect on each run and where to end up at the bottom of the fall line for pickup.

Disclaimer:  This is not a place for beginner or intermediate skiers and riders.  All the terrain at Silverton is steep and many lines are what I consider “high consequence, no fall zones!”

Here’s a quick clip of some wide-open tree skiing in deep pow.

We spent the rest of the day skiing knee-deep pow, regrouping, reloading, debriefing new lines and repeating.

It was rad.

The snow was great.

The stoke remained really high.

After a great day on the mountain, we returned to the yurt.  Yes, Silverton’s base lodge is just one big tent.

Silverton’s Base lodge is a Yurt. Photo: Snowbrains

Inside the Yurt, the bar and gift shop offer up some frosty refreshments, several snacks to hold you over on the way back to town, and some really cool merch.  If you want to be allowed back next year, always take home some sweet merch for the significant other or the kiddos.

Silverton’s Base Bar. Photo: Snowbrains

Nobody leaves Silverton Mountain without burnt legs, great memories, and thoughts of planning the next visit to this amazing winter playground!  I will always set aside a day or two to be spent shredding this mountain.

This place is flat-out EPIC!  Not to be confused as part of the EPIC Pass.  You will never find those type of crowds at Silverton.  They limit their daily visits to 400 or less.

Here is a quick photo tour to prove it!

Hiking up to the landing zone. Photo: Snowbrains
The guides launched the Heli to take us to the goods. Photo: Snowbrains
We were packed in the Heli like sardines. Photo: Snowbrains
My buddy Reynold watches the chopper leave us on our own. Photo: Snowbrains
On our own after drop off.    Photo: Snowbrains
Tiger Trees Below.   Photo: Snowbrains
Snow was soft and deep all day. Photo: Snowbrains
There was playful terrain riding out the gully’s towards the base. Photo: Snowbrains
Spreading the stoke with Reynold and Chris. Photo: Snowbrains
If you could cross the creek, you could ski the terrain. Photo: Snowbrains
An old school bus provides access 360 degrees around the base to move skiers and riders back to the base of the lift and the yurt area.   Photo: Snowbrains

The “Silverton Experience” is like no other ski resort in the world.  The combination of the “rustic cowboy town feel,” guided lift access, affordable heli-skiing, a canvass tent for a lodge, and a “pee tree” for an outhouse truly make this place one of a kind.  Don’t worry ladies, there are also actual outhouses at the base of the mountain which offer a little more privacy than “the tree.”

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